The day before I left for Istanbul my friend caraf tagged me with the following meme: what things do you do every day to contribute to your success? She nudged me today, thinking that I hadn't posted my own brilliant path to success because I missed it while in Istanbul.
I have a confession to make.
I saw it. And while I admit that I was distracted while in Istanbul, I have actually been thinking about this meme ever since then. I didn't pick it up because, to tell you the truth, I've haven't felt particularly successful here in Geneva. I struggle with my writing, I struggle with the language, I struggle to make meaningful personal contact with people here. But I think I've identified some of the things that have made my days here less than successful.
Herewith, the Eeyore version of Cara's meme, five things that, perhaps, have contributed to my lack of success in my piggyback sabbatical.
1. Be an optimist! Everything will turn out for the best! Therefore, it is not necessary to learn the French language before you go to a predominantly French-speaking city, because a) it is the hub of European diplomacy, and therefore nearly everyone speaks English, to some degree; and b) I'll pick it up when I get there.
I am an optimist, which often leads to unrealistic thinking.
2. You can do everything you used to do, but online! Yoga, for example. Who needs real people? (Not to denigrate Yoga Today. I think they're quite wonderful.)
I will join the super-expensive yoga center downtown as soon as I finish my first extreme scientist book. That is my reward.
3. Tomorrow is another day! OK, putting off disagreeable tasks is something that I've always been guilty of doing, but it's especially tempting when you know that you have to look up a phrase on google translate and practice saying it, and then print it out, because you know they won't understand you anyway.
As some Greek god, maybe it was Nike, said, "Just do it." Even if it makes you feel stupid, which you know it will.
4. Um. OK, I've decided to move on to things I do to contribute to my success. Run! Or run/walk! Train for a half marathon, which will require you to explore your new city! Realize how fortunate you are to have the opportunity to run Geneva, Paris, London, and Istanbul over the course of a few months. (I think that Barcelona and Venice are to come.) It makes me feel good about wherever I am, and good about myself, even though I am super-slow because nobody makes me keep up with them.
5. Another non-Eeyore thing. Acknowledge your friends and family. Thank them (thanks, Cara). And, as somebody said (who?) "Only connect."
OK, #5 sounded a little Eeyore-ish, didn't it. I guess I'm just homesick.